"The act of writing could amount to a kind of revenge. But empathy, instead, is McBee’s objective, the most important part of becoming real in one’s own eyes. ‘Being human,’ he concludes, ‘means being at the mercy of others.’ That’s a part of aspiration, too. We are born human; with hard work, we achieve humanity." Henry Giardina, New York Times
"McBee takes us in his capable hands and shows us what it takes to become a man who is gloriously, gloriously alive.”—Roxane Gay
Photo by Michael Sharkey for The Observer
Thomas Page McBee is an author, journalist, television writer, and “questioner of masculinity” (The New York Times). Much of his work exposes the hidden biases and assumptions that drive our cultural narratives about gender.
His Lambda award-winning memoir, Man Alive, was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. His “refreshing [and] radical” (The Guardian) second book, Amateur, a reported memoir about learning how to box in order to understand masculinity’s tie to violence, was shortlisted for the UK’s Baillie-Gifford nonfiction book prize, the Wellcome Book Prize, and a Lambda Literary Award, and was named a best book of 2018 by many publications. In the course of reporting the book, Thomas became the first transgender man to ever box in Madison Square Garden.
Thomas has written columns about the intersection of gender and culture for the Rumpus, Pacific Standard, Condé Nast's Them, and Teen Vogue. A former senior editor at Quartz, his essays and reportage have appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, Glamour, Out, The Cut, and more.
Thomas has taught courses at the City University of New York’s graduate school of journalism. He serves as an advisor for West Virginia University’s graduate school of journalism on grassroots reporting projects that challenge national narratives about Appalachia.
Thomas also works in television, and has written for both Tales of the City (2019, Netflix) and The L Word (2019, Showtime). He speaks about his work globally, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
He is currently at work on multiple projects in several mediums, mostly exploring monstrosity.